This fall, I added a package of French Medium Toast oak cubes to my cider about 2 months into fermentation. I was planning on only leaving them in for a week or two, but I got really busy with work, and so they stayed in with the cider for 6 weeks. A lot of the cubes had actually sunk to the bottom of the fermentor from being water logged (cider logged?). Anyway, I racked to a keg, added two cans of frozen apple juice concentrate for sweetness and threw it in the kegerator with just a few psi of CO2 to give it a slight carbonation and enough to push the cider out of the keg. Wow, that is delicious! The oak cubes add a nice mellow smoothness. The tannins are not at all bitter. It almost has a slight creaminess to it. I would highly recommend adding oak cubes to cider if anyone is on the fence about it.
I have a pack of French oak cubes on deck, just for that purpose! Glad to read your review. Did you boil them first, or add them direct?
I used a pressure cooker. I wanted to see if I could retain more flavor compared to boiling.
I used spirals once, but only left them in for two weeks. I definitely thought the cider could have taken more. I should get another batch going…